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Florida Caverns State Park and BLUE HOLE SPRING

Sunday April 5, 2016
Florida Caverns State Park
Marianna, Florida




Even with a late start this morning, we arrive early at Florida Caverns State Park.  It’s only 26 miles up I-10 from Falling Waters.  The campground here is also small, 32 sites.  It is in a circle and the sites are all pretty large.  In fact ours is one of the smaller ones.  The site with the 5th wheel is huge.  That’s #30.   The campground is in the woods but there is no foliage between the sites so your neighbor’s business is your business and so is their campfire smoke.   Each site is directly across from another rather than staggered.  So we are looking at our across the street neighbors out our front window.   When I took that shot,  we had moved Ruby off to the right out of the view. .








We are here for 6 nights before our dash back to Virginia.  In addition to the cavern tours, there are several trails as well as a 2nd magnitude spring called Blue Hole.


Once set up, we take the trail from the campground down to the spring to check it out.   There are actually two trails from the campground that go to the spring.  One goes off just to the left of our site and the other is 7 or 8 sites away.  We take the further trail today.  It’s longer, although that’s not saying much.  Both are short.




The trail runs along the nice and wild spring run. I love that it has been left so natural.   It’s colors reflect the blue waters of the spring.






The trail comes out of the woods to front a bridge that is being repaired.  To get over to the other side where the spring entry platform is, we have to go down to the far end where there is a second bridge between the spring waters.







We can see and hear a group of kids having fun in the water.  We walk along the run




We continue on toward the bridge there on the right of the picture.   The water color is a gorgeous aqua marine blue.




Blue Hole is actually two springs.  The bridge goes between them.  One is set up for swimming and the other is left natural.  Because of the sun, this picture was taken on the way out so the swimming spring is on the right.





The spring has been returned to a  very natural state with one walkway and floating dock for jumping in.  There is no where to stand in the spring and the edges are all protected by natural vegetation to cut down on the erosion.  There is clearly a little circular rock ringed grass amphitheater just beyond the dock where at one time you could probably walk into the spring run but no more.  The parks are taking very good care of their springs these days and I’m happy to see Florida Caverns has done it without cement.

The spring is one of the sources of the beautiful Chipola River which we hope to kayak while we are here.  The water clarity is obscured when the river runs high and the spring is closed then.  That’s true of most springs.  When their rivers back up into them, the water turns brown.

According to local lore, the name for the spring came because the spring is “a hole filled with water so cold it will turn you blue”. 

According the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the water emerges from the spring with a temperature of 67.8 degrees (quite warm in the winter and quite cool in the summer). It comes from a natural vent that is 38.5 feet below the surface.  That’s cooler than other springs I’ve been in.  Maybe I should go into the spring when the over night temperatures are in the 40’s and 50’s.  That’s a thought.  But I don’t think that’s going to happen while we are here this time.


We see fish in both springs.  The water is just amazingly clear and blue.   No fishing here of course.  Only in the river.



While we are enjoying the beauty of the spring all the kids tire out from having to swim constantly, get out, jump back in and repeat.  They leave and we have the place all to ourselves.  The beauty and silence are magnificent.

We walk down to the dock to take a closer look and stick a foot in the water.  No swimming since it is nearly dinner time and we haven’t brought our suits.   We’ve only come to check it out and it gets 10 thumbs up.



You can bet we’ll be back to cool off here.  The temperatures are predicted to be in the mid to upper 80’s during our stay. What’s up with that?  This is EARLY April and NORTH west Florida.  What happened to spring here at the spring?



  1. We've been there a few times and all I really remember was the rocky caverns. Maybe we never made it to the Blue Hole, but I sure can't remember why. It's beautiful. Too cold for me!

    I wondered how the weather was up there, and I agree that it's too early for summer like temperatures. It's warmer than normal here in the Keys too.

  2. Beautiful. Florida State Parks are really some of the best we've been to.

  3. Such a beautiful spring. I have learned so much about the Florida springs from you, Sherry. You know how much I love them and how much I wish to return and kayak all those spring runs and swim in them someday. This one was on my list before you showed it to us, so now even more so.

  4. April in Pensacola was normally quite pleasant with highs in the 70s. Hope it cooled off for the rest of your time there.

  5. I think I'm really going to enjoy our sun shades in parks where our neighbors are lined up with our windows. While we'll still see them, we have privacy with the view. I do love all the trees in that park though :-) The aqua water always looks like a ride at Disneyland to me - it can't really be real! So glad to see that FL is keeping so much of these treasures as natural as they can.

  6. What an amazingly beautiful spring. The color of that water is just so beautiful. I can imagine I would have to spend a lot of time just admiring that color. What a great place to spend some time:)

  7. A beautiful area! Loved the photos today

  8. Wow, what a beautiful color! Another beautiful place to explore.

  9. I am blown away by the color and clarity of the spring. Bet you'll get some use from that swimming hole if it's in the 80s already. I'll bet you could put together your FL springs posts and make a beautiful and useful book.

  10. Gorgeous! Love those natural springs and your campsite looks pretty darn nice too!

  11. you have been to some really, really great State Parks in Florida. . .we are excited to explore a few of them for ourselves this next spring. . .thanks for sharing. . .

  12. Oh what gorgeous water in those springs!!! But that is way too cool for me;o(( Don't care how warm it gets...water less than 75 degrees would be very difficult for me to swim in!! We are just beginning to get warmer weather, low 70s, here in South Carolina. Lots of rain to go with it. Strange weather everywhere!!

  13. A beautiful swimming hole like that and you didn't let the Duckies go for a swim? That's almost (plastic) animal cruelty... :cD

    That is amazing color, I bet the camera didn't do justice to what the eye could see.

  14. I can vouch for that blue being the actual, clear blue of a Florida spring - always a delight to see. Also they are great to swim in and have no smell of chlorine. The volume of water coming in from the spring vent assures about as clean a swim water as can be found. Very nice, mostly quiet park. ;)

  15. Another absolutely gorgeous Florida spring! The color is almost unbelievable. You've been to more springs in Florida than I have, and I'm a native! That's something I intend to remedy next winter. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures with us.

  16. Looks lovely. Wish I were there. :-)

  17. Wow that spring is really blue. I wonder if your repeat stays in Fl planned or unplanned has let you enjoyed all the springs there.
    And your visit to the blue hole is future dated, maybe you plan to come back here in 2016 :)

  18. GORGEOUS! The blue under the trees - looks like a perfect sanctuary to just "be" when the kids aren't running around!


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